Hi Vegetarian Carnivores! Let me say that I am a huge fan of burgers! In fact yesterday I went to the lovely VeganBurg in Haight Ashbury in SF and got two succulent burgers with a jalapeno aioli loaded fries. I am literally drooling just thinking about it. That’s one of the positives that has come out of quarantine- we’ve got a little (or a lot!) more time on our hands so I am able to get out and make those trips to all the vegan eateries around the Bay. Finally! You name it, I’ll eat it. As long as it’s vegan, it’s fair game to me. But because I am me, I knew I had to come up with a homemade vegan burger with wholesome and delicious ingredients that were easy to come by and full of health promoting nutrients. And there’s the story of how my chickpea burgers were born. Let’s get started.
Why you will love these chickpea burgers
These burgers are perfect for when you are craving a burger but want to stay away from a super meaty or faux meat texture. As much as I love Beyond Burgers and Impossible Patties, sometimes I want a good old fashioned veggie burger with a veggie texture. And that’s exactly what this is. We’ve got loads complex flavors from chickpeas, mushrooms, walnuts, tahini, and wheat gluten. Chopped walnuts add an extra bite to the burger and extra texture.
You don’t need anything special for this recipe, except a food processor or a blender.
Dress it up!
And the best part is you can customize this however you want! For example, I love a lot of vegan cheese on my burger- so I’ve layered it on the patty like there’s no tomorrow as well as stuffed it inside the patty as I form it so that the cheese explodes out when you take a bite! Once you’ve gotten the patty down, it’s really up to you how you dress it up.
Our star ingredients
Chickpeas- Drained and rinsed canned chickpeas are the main base ingredient for this recipe. Most recipes will have you mash it with a potato masher or a fork. But for this recipe we are going to puree it into a smooth paste, along with mushrooms and tahini.
Tahini- I love putting tahini in savory (and sometimes sweet) dishes because it adds a super creamy and luxurious texture to the dish. The tahini in these burgers adds an additional creamy kick when blended with the chickpeas and preps itself for getting molded together by the wheat gluten.
Mushrooms- You should know by this point that I am pretty much obsessed with mushrooms! They are super versatile and burgers are no exception. If you’re not a mushroom person, you can leave this ingredient out, but even my mushroom averse family members couldn’t taste it specifically and loved the burgers!
Walnuts- Hear me out. I don’t like raw walnuts. But finely chopping them up and adding them to the final mixture before sauteing them introduces small but noticeable crunches in the burger. It really breaks up the monotony of a single texture in a dish. If you don’t have walnuts, try substituting pecans. I haven’t done this particular substitution myself, but I imagine that the finished product will be similar.
Wheat gluten- This one is important in this recipe. It acts as the “egg” in other burger recipes, where you’d add all the ingredients to the meat and then bind it together with the egg. In previous recipes I mention you can leave it out if you want, but it is an important binding agent in this recipe. Your burger will fall apart if you don’t use it. You won’t taste it- a little goes a super long way with wheat gluten!
Ingredients (4 burgers)
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 12 oz crimini or brown mushrooms
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped or lightly food processed so there are still chunks
- 1 cup vegan cheddar shreds or 4 vegan cheddar slices
- 4 leaves romaine
- Red onion
- Blend the chickpeas, mushrooms, and tahini together to get a smooth paste.
- Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add the breadcrumbs. Mix well.
- Add the wheat gluten and knead with your hands. The mixture will come together quite quickly so work fast to make sure each part of the mixture has gotten some wheat gluten.
- Mix the walnuts into the burger mixture.
- Shape into patties and saute over medium heat.
- You can add cheese to the top of the burger and melt OR
- You can stuff cheese into the patty as you are forming them. The picture below is what it looks like if you do this.
- Layer your burger! Lettuce, red onion, maybe some ketchup. Enjoy!